Merito Group is a data-driven talent acquisition firm based in the D.C. area. We understand that industries are constantly evolving, which means businesses must embrace a key entrepreneurial skill: adaptability. But let’s be honest; change is hard.

Transformation can make the best of us feel uneasy. Many entrepreneurs have a hard time initiating or following through with their desire to change — myself included. However, I made up my mind a long time ago to embrace change.

It’s a simple fact that change is essential to success. Constant change is a business reality and you must continually adapt. Yet it requires a consistent commitment to hard things. The most difficult among them is closing the gap: moving from your current state to a desired reality. Closing the gap often requires an unconventional, intentional and fresh approach.

Real and lasting change is possible. As you make plans in the new year, consider these five approaches to make 2018 your best year yet as an entrepreneur.

1.Old Ways Won’t Necessarily Open New Doors

According to Tomasz Tungz, venture capitalist at Redpoint, “There’s a crisis in the scientific academic world. It’s called the Replication Crisis. Scientists have found that they cannot replicate the results published by many scientific studies. The same thing is happening in the world of business.”

Simply put, yesterday’s ways aren’t guaranteed to produce tomorrow’s results. You can counter this phenomenon in a few ways: Cultivate a mindset that is open to change, make more data-driven decisions, track metrics and results and/or optimize and pivot when necessary. For example, I built a brand known for its provocative startup insight in 2009, before entrepreneurial culture was trendy. As we explore growth markets, we look at where the startup ecosystem is now and build our hypothesis for where it will be five years down the road. When you look at where you’ve been (i.e., data) and keep a finger on the pulse of those you serve, you are free to look at new doors with a fresh perspective.

To read more of Erica Nicole’s insights on Forbes, click here.